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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

smaddox Re:NASA needs SpaceX. SpaceX doesn't need NASA. (292 comments)

I'm assuming you meant He3, but it is worthless without a working fusion reactor, of which we have none. The only value of a lunar base would be as an intermediate port for assembling large ships for longer journeys. Well, that and you could make some badass telescopes on the dark side.

about a month ago
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Nanoscale Terahertz Optical Switch Breaks Miniaturization Barrier

smaddox First sentence of summary is false. (35 comments)

Integrated photonics has its place, but it's never going to replace CMOS for computing. Waveguides don't scale like transistors do. If you want to see what integrated photonics is good for, look no further than Infinera. They build photonic integrated circuits for fiber optics communications in 10 years they will own the market for long distance endpoint hardware.

about a month ago
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Happy Pi Day

smaddox SXSW (218 comments)

No mention of the smoke trails left in the sky by 5 planes writing out the digits of pi at SXSW yesterday? Given, they were a day early, but it was still freaking amazing!

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask Jonathan Coulton What You Will

smaddox Thoughts on thing a week? (48 comments)

What are your retrospective thoughts on you're thing a week project? I'm particularly interested in if you thought it was a success (and what that might mean), and if you would suggest something similar to other artists.

Loved your music ever since i heard about you through Slashdot 6 or 7 years ago! Thanks for all the laughs and entertainment!

about a month ago
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New Review Slams Fusion Project's Management

smaddox Not the way to economical fusion power generation. (109 comments)

ITER is a all the proof anyone should need that the Tokamak is not the way to economical fusion power generation. Of course neither is inertial confinement fusion, while we're on the topic. It would be one thing if these projects were sold as basic science, but instead they are sold as being practical approaches to fusion power generation. It's a lie.

about 2 months ago
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Military Electronics That Shatter Into Dust On Command

smaddox $5.4 million for a self destruct button? (221 comments)

For $5.4 million, they better be talking about more than simply damaging the electronics beyond use. I could throw something together to do that overnight for less than $100.

about 2 months ago
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Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

smaddox Re:how many products? (298 comments)

The problem with Bill Mitchell's approach to monetary theory (Chartalism), is that it is focuses on public debt when it's the inevitable deleveraging of private debt that cause recessions and depressions. Given, it may be a workable approach, but it's not very direct. Steve Keen, on the other hand, focuses directly on the role of private debt in the macroeconomy. He's currently working on a dynamic model fully capable accurately simulating booms, recessions and depressions in all their glory, and he already has some very instructive models. You can check out his blog here, his "manifesto" here, and his research papers here.

about 3 months ago
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Acid Bath Offers Easy Path To Stem Cells

smaddox Re:Wait? (71 comments)

Then why is there a comment system?

about 3 months ago
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Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

smaddox Re:But it is horribly wrong anyway. (458 comments)

It doesn't matter what seems more likely. No one thought it was likely for the speed of light to be the same independent of inertial reference frame, but it is. Stop imposing your beliefs on nature.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: It's 2014 -- Which New Technologies Should I Learn?

smaddox Re:Work on the basics (387 comments)

I've never heard of this approach. How would you implement it? I've always seen the database connection directly in the server side code.

about 3 months ago
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CERN Antimatter Experiment Produces First Beam of Antihydrogen

smaddox Re:Cool science coming... (136 comments)

Polarized gravitation would also make some forms of man-made time travel possible, which would be quite interesting. It would be very revolutionary if antimatter turned out to have opposite gravitational sign. Unfortunately, we're probably still several years from knowing. Still exciting, though.

about 3 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

smaddox Re:Everyone creates arbitrary lines (628 comments)

How many humans have complex thoughts by human standards?

The whole point of the concept of evolution is that every separation we make between species is arbitrary. The changes are continuous, not quantized (well, technically they are quantized, but only at the level of DNA, which is a minuscule scale).

about 3 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

smaddox Re:That doesn't seem right. (628 comments)

In my undergrad psychology book, there were several anecdotes of intelligent behavior in various animals. One story was about a dolphin that was trained to clean trash from it's holding tank. Each time it brought a piece of trash to the trainer, it would receive a fish as a reward. Eventually one dolphin figured out that it could put a rock on a piece of trash, rip it into smaller pieces, and be rewarded for each smaller piece. After it figured this out, the other dolphins in the tank apparently started doing the same thing (implying that they learned from each other).

I don't believe it's an accident of history that dolphins are considered some of the most intelligent animals. There are people who study animal intelligence for a living, and I am willing to concede to their expertise.

about 3 months ago
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Why Transitivity Violations Can Be Rational

smaddox Re:Ranking choices consistently (169 comments)

This didn't make any sense until i looked it up and saw that you're predicting a subsequence of continuous throws. Just thought I'd point that out in case anyone else was confused.

about 3 months ago
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Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

smaddox Re:What's the storage density? (131 comments)

They are probably not including energy used to pump the liquids in their cycle efficiency. However, the volumetric energy density is quoted as exceeding 50Wh / L. A 5 watt water pump has a typical flow rate of ~300 L/h (maximum pumping height of 4 feet), resulting in an energy usage of ~0.017 Wh/L, which is less than 0.03% of the total energy density. So pumping should have little effect on the cycle efficiency.

about 3 months ago
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Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

smaddox Re:If it can be scaled up? (131 comments)

Stop spread FUD. The vast majority of solar cells are polycrystalline silicon. Nitrogen triflouride is only used for etching thin film solar cells, which requires only small amounts of the gas. In addition, flourine can be used directly, or the unused nitrogen triflouride can be captured.

about 3 months ago
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Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks the Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car

smaddox Re:SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT! (599 comments)

Yeah, they should have a registration tax, a gas tax, and a corporate tax!

Oh, wait...

about 3 months ago
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First Recorded Observation of Freshwater Fish Preying On Birds In Flight

smaddox Oblig. (93 comments)

In Soviet Africa, fish hunt bird!

about 3 months ago

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